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Blog Tour: Tracing Shadows (Scout #1) by Alex Liddell: A Book Review

Author: Alex Lidell

Narrator: Hayden Daviau

Length: 6 hours and 21 minutes

Serie: Scout Series, Book 1

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Released: May 21, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

To protect the throne, 17-year-old spy Kali must play a male guardsman trainee by day and royal lady by night.

Orphaned and trained on a spymaster’s remote estate, Kali is a scout who works alone in the shadows. But when a terror group threatens the Dansil throne, the king forces Kali to accept a mission at the palace or forfeit her sister’s life.

Suddenly thrust into the light, Kali must infiltrate high society as the royal Lady Lianna while penetrating the servant ranks as Kal, a male guardsman trainee. It doesn’t help that Trace, the harsh and enigmatic captain of the king’s guard, is soon assigned as both Lady Lianna’s palace escort and Kal’s commanding officer.

As Kali edges closer to the truth behind the violent group’s identity, she uncovers dangerous secrets that could bring her mission to a brutal end. A scout’s job is to observe and report, never to engage...but if it means saving her sister and kingdom, Kali may have no choice.

 Tracing Shadows, by Amazon best-selling author Alex Lidell, is the first novel in the Scout series. Perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce, Leigh Bardugo, and Sarah J. Maas.

 I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. 

Kali is a scout. When the king of Dansil has been threatened by terrorists, he assigns Kali to a dangerous mission. If she refuses, her sister will be killed. Kali is to act as his niece Lady Liana at night, and disguise herself as a male trainee during the day. As Kali searches to find out the terrorists identify, she finds herself getting into trouble with Trace, the captain of the royal guards. She learns that Trace may be hiding some important information. Soon, she realizes that Trace may be linked to the terrorists. Kali must fight to protect her sister and her kingdom against these dangerous threats.

   I loved Kali! She is a very feisty character. She acts with instinct and not her brain. Therefore, she is always getting herself into trouble. I loved the fact that she can fight and is very tenacious. There were times that she could be very vulnerable. Those moments were what made her an endearing heroine. Thus, Kali was a witty and engaging heroine, and I rooted for her to vanquish her enemies. 

   I also loved her relationship with Trace. Trace seems cold. However, it turns out that he has a heart of gold. He has a sad background, and I can understand why he can be aloof. The romance between them is very slow, but it is built on mutual experiences. Both of them have tragic backgrounds. Eventually, he becomes Kali’s mentor and protector. I found Trace to be very mysterious, and I found unraveling Trace’s past was one of the best elements in the novel.

   Even though the book was great, the audiobook really made the story come alive. The narrator really captured Kali’s gutsy personality. She also did an stupendous job in making the other characters come alive. She did an excellent job in portraying Trace’s broodiness. Thus, Ms. Daviau is one of the best narrators that I have ever listened to. It was hard to keep from listening! I would not only love to listen to this audiobook again, but I would love to listen more from this narrator!

   Overall, Tracing Shadows is a novel of friendship, family, love, and duty. The novel is very fast-paced and is filled with courtly intrigue, danger, adventure, and mystery! I did wish for the supporting characters to be more developed, and I thought the world-building needed more explanation. Still, these flaws did not take away my enjoyment of the novel. When Tracing Shadows ended in a cliffhanger, I immediately downloaded the sequel and read it in one sitting! Tracing Shadows is a novel you do not want to miss if you love plucky heroines and mysterious love interests! This novel is perfect for fans of Defy, Cage of Deceit, and Flame in the Mist!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


     Alex Lidell is the author of Amazon best sellers AIR AND ASH and WAR AND WIND (Danger Bearing Press, 2017) and an Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books.


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